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03-20-2013, 04:26 PM
  #6
Gaps
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I think Kontiola is currently the best centerman we have in Europe, so in case we don't get any from NHL, he should get the #1 job. Ramstedt, Lehterä, Kapanen or Immonen could all fit to 2C. Fringe pick: Ilari Filppula. Was pretty brisk in the LG Games, but needs to be in top form in playoffs or during the camp to have a shot.
From what I've seen I agree with this. The reason I didn't mention Filppula is that he's rather one-dimensional (even more than Lehterä) and in addition to that he's small and pretty slow. He's contending with guys like Lehterä and Ramstedt and I don't see him winning that contest unless he's a total playoff monster and those two fail miserably.

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On defense, I wouldn't name that many locks yet. Out of OD, Mäenpää and Niskala are seasoned enough to likely make it, but the remaining two slots are still up for grabs.

One guy you missed is Ville Lajunen. Did real good in LG games, and Jalonen has shown a habit for valuing guys who succeed there, such as Järvinen last year and Ville's brother Jani a year before that. I'd definitely put him out there before Hietanen ATM. The fringe pick: Teemu Eronen.

DD: Väänänen, Kukkonen are the familiars. Melart looks like he's making a case for himself, so I'd slot him for the 3rd best chance after those two.
Lajunen was okay in the last tournament, but I see Jalonen going for someone more familiar. Wouldn't mind being wrong here, though. Eronen would surely be an interesting choice.

Melart was great until recently, but he's been pretty bad for some time now. If Järvinen is available, I'd probably take him over Melart, but we won't know about that until next month.

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Goalies, I don't know why you say Rämö wouldn't be interested, but if he isn't, Ahonen is the pretty clear 2nd choice out of those. Rämö's stats from this season are only marginally better than his.

For the rest, I guess Ortio, Tarkki and Vehanen could all have an equal shot, maybe Vehanen with a slight edge if he's still game. Experience becomes a thing that matters when there's no other way to make the distinction. What about Juha Metsola? Did get an EHT call and posted a shutout. Might have shot for the reserve slot at least, especially if no NHLers are available.
A hockey writer for one of the tabloids said on Twitter some time ago that one of the victims of the recent scandal is mad at Liitto, doesn't trust Jalonen anymore and is currently not interested in playing for the NT. No name was mentioned, but I drew my own conclusions based on that. Of course it may not be him and even if it is, he could always change his mind and I hope he does.

I don't know about Metsola. I guess he could fight for the 3rd goalie spot, but I don't know how high Jalonen would rank him.

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Out of teams that might not make the playoffs, I wouldn't mind seeing Hartikainen and Leino. Härski wanted to come last year, but was sent to the Barons. Leino apparently got a bit miffed last year because he wasn't promised a direct roster spot last year but was offered a "tryout" instead. Timing doesn't make that possible this time and he might be willing to come, since it'd be a good shot to make a case for breaking the Olympic squad. But eh, far too early to say which team's in and which is out.
Can they send Hartikainen down again if the Oilers don't make the playoffs? If not, I wouldn't mind seeing him, but is he someone Jalonen would give a spot with no training camp? Because there are only a handful of NHL players I see Jalonen really wanting on the team badly enough to take them in without a tryout and they're all top 6 players aside from Komarov.

Leino would be interesting to see and him showing up here this year would improve his Olympic chances. If Jalonen was to choose the Sochi team, I don't think Leino would stand a chance, but with Westerlund he might.

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